2015-12-08 / Front Page

Owen County Rescue Team To Host Winter Preparedness Seminar On December 10th

Staff Report

In an effort to partner with the community to make Owen County more resilient to disasters, the Owen County Rescue Team will host a winter preparedness seminar on Thursday, December 10 at the Spencer United Methodist Church’s In God’s Arms (IGA) building, located at 95 West Franklin Street in Spencer.

Featuring presentations from the rescue team and volunteer fire, emergency medical, and law enforcement personnel, the free seminar will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Organizers hope the information shared will help prevent incidents such as the tragic ice fishing accident that claimed the lives of teenagers Dominic Arthur and Edward “Eddie” Shoemaker in January of this year.

“What brought it all about was when we lost the two boys last year,” Owen County Rescue Team Leader

Dave Keith said. “I was planning to put on an ice surface awareness type of class this winter before we got into a situation again. I’m sort of an opportunist, so I thought while it was still fresh in everyone’s minds, we should go ahead and do a public presentation,” Keith explained. “I got to working on it and decided to involve all of the different agencies. We’re just going to take a block of time and give information about being safe in the winter.”

Those attending will learn how to survive a fall through ice, how to rescue a victim that has fallen through the ice, in addition to winter fire safety tips, emergency medical care, and additional winter preparedness tips from law enforcement officers.

Presenting along with the Owen County Rescue Team and EMS will be the Owen County Sheriff ’s Department, Owen Valley Volunteer Fire Department, and the Indiana Conservation Officer Dive Team.

According to Owen County EMS Director Cris Lunsford, his presentation will focus on avoiding frost bite, cold weather emergencies and the need for winter kits to be kept in vehicles.

“We are going to be covering space heaters and wood stoves, along with a couple of other small things people should be thinking about,” Owen Valley VFD Chief Lee Freeman added.

Owen County Sheriff Sam Hobbs said his officers will discuss the need to allow vehicles to warm up before driving, defrosting all windows, and keeping your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full. Hobbs also mentioned the need for motorists to leave earlier for destinations, to stock up on any medications you may need, and to equip your vehicle with small first aid kits and a bag non-clump- ing cat litter to be used as a traction aid in ice and snow.

“Keep extra clothes, hats, gloves, a blanket, and flashlight in your vehicle, along with batteries, water, and food incase you get stranded or stuck in traffic,” Hobbs added.

Keith also has began to advertise the event on the Owen County Rescue Team’s Facebook page, posting, “We all know that Indiana winters are unpredictable. And we know that Owen County residents are very good at adapting. We in emergency services want, correction, we need you to help us and your neighbors.”

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